I often find myself speaking in front of people in classrooms and organizational meetings at Miami Dade College. Ostensibly I’m in front of these people to tell them about the Single Stop program, but in fact I’m there to spread inspirational and uplifting words. I speak to them about my personal experiences and challenges to open their eyes to a simple paradigm:
Problems + Goals = Solutions
Recently I was speaking to a classroom full of students, each facing their own unique challenges. I was getting into the wrap up of my dialogue, which consists of a helpful way to remember my name. Since Jarrid is an easy name to forget I relate it to a more well-known person by the same name, that being Jared Fogle of Subway fame. It’s rare that you’ll find a person who hasn’t heard of Subway, or tried one of their subs.
We’re all somewhat familiar with Jared’s story – overweight person | eats at Subway | now average weight person. I see many of the students’ minds click at this moment, the brand recognition of Subway and Jared works really well for my purpose of increasing name memorability. I then share that I too used to be overweight, due in large part to me playing football at FAU. I tell the students that I used to weigh 300 pounds, whereas now I weight about 200 pounds. It’s at this point that I’ll usually tie in the simple paradigm:
Overweight + Desire to live healthily = Motivation to lose weight
At this point the people in the audience will react with disbelief, astonishment, doubt, or surprise. They’ve been listening to me speak for 20-30 minutes, buying into the simple paradigm with each minute, only to reject it when I share my personal and tangible story to its proof.
I was particularly stirred today when a student, with conviction, said “I don’t believe you, that can’t be true”. To that student today I said “I told you earlier that I recently graduated from college, but I didn’t show you the degree. Why didn’t you say then that you didn’t believe that?” Her response was “Having your degree is easier to believe, losing the weight isn’t”.
This interaction astounded me! How could a person easily believe, without tangible evidence, a statement like “I recently graduated” yet so quickly dismiss “I lost 100 pounds”? Oh but there is tangible evidence, besides the stretch marks, to me weighing 300 pounds:
I share this blog posting with you to implore you to take up the simple paradigm and apply it to your life. Problems are never easy to solve, but they become impossible when you do not have a goal in mind. Share this simple paradigm with those around you. It’s especially useful for people who are better at identifying the problems than at setting goals for solutions.
There will always be a doubter much like to woman in this story. Don’t allow them to stand in your way. Set your mind to goals and solve those problems!